Music 32

Fern Helen (Hammerstrom) Baard

February 2, 1926 ~ February 1, 2021 (age 94)


MADISON – Fern Helen (Hammerstrom) Baard died just one day before her 95th birthday on Monday, February 1, 2021 from injuries sustained in a fall on New Year’s Eve. Fern was born on February 2, 1926 in Luck, WI to Carl (Boo) and Florence (Carlson) Hammerstrom.

Fern grew up near Luck, WI with her older sister Jane. She graduated from Luck High School in 1944 and received a degree in Social Work from Hamline University in 1950. 

Fern met Robert Baard at a dance and they were married on September 10, 1949 in the Atlas United Methodist Church in Polk County, WI.  Sadly, Fern’s mother Florence died soon afterwards. Fern and Bob lived in many Wisconsin cities before coming to Madison in 1959. They had four children, Rebecca, Barbara, Paul and Ronald. On May 9th, 1985, Bob died from lung cancer. Barb died on August 1, 2020, six months before her mother.

Fern worked for the Dane County Department of Human Services as a social worker for over 30 years, and retired in 1991. She was a longstanding member of Trinity United Methodist Church. Fern developed many lifelong friendships through work and church.

In 2008, Fern moved to Wynwood Assisted Living, which later became Brookdale Madison West. She lived in her apartment at Brookdale until a month before she died. Fern was grateful for all the care provided to her by her son Paul and daughter in-law Sandee. Fern and Paul enjoyed having coffee together several times a week.

Fern was a warm, caring, generous person who was always interested in the lives of others. She kept in touch with friends and family over the years through cards, letters and phone calls. She was an amazing piano player and continued to play up until a few years before she died. Fern loved to cook and was famous for her homemade buns, which were always a part of family celebrations. Fern and her sister Jane were very close and loved spending time together with their families.

Fern is survived by her children, Becky Martel, Paul (Sandee Schuster) Baard, Ron (Mary) Baard; nieces and nephews, Sarah, Rachel, Carl, Jeanne, Daniel; grandchildren, Lauren, Karin; great grandchildren, Caleb, Sophie; other family and many friends. She was preceded in death by her husband Bob, daughter Barb, sister Jane, and her parents.

The family would like to thank past and present staff of Brookdale Madison West for their care and friendship throughout the years. A special thank you also goes to Agrace HospiceCare and Oak Park Nursing & Rehab Center for their compassionate care after Fern’s fall.

Due to current COVID-19 restrictions, the family is planning a combined Celebration of Life for both Fern and Barb at a later date, tentatively June 26th, 2021.

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Celebration of Life will be held at a later date

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